A drum roll for drum cutters!

Published 21/4 at 14:52

A relative newcomer on the demolition scene, rotary drum cutter is probably the most versatile excavator attachment there is. Demolition, quarrying, tunnelling, landscaping, underwater cutting, and pipeline construction – that’s an incomplete list of tasks that rotary drum cutters are capable of handling. Embracing this trend, many attachment suppliers have enhanced their arsenals with this spiky multitasker. Andrei Bushmarin reports.

Epiroc cutters receive new monitoring device and ‘Pro’ bracket 

The Epiroc Group entered the drum cutter market in 2017 by acquiring erkat, one of the companies that pioneered drum cutting technology back in the late 1990s. In March, Epiroc introduced ‘HATCON’, a remote monitoring device for hydraulic breakers and drum cutters that keeps track of the attachments’ location and operating hours. It is connected to the cloud based platform ‘My Epiroc’, which gives notifications on maintenance, creates task lists and provides an overview of the entire fleet. HATCON is available as both factory mounted and as a retrofit kit for Epiroc and erkat drum cutters. 

Maintenance notifications and wear part alerts are not the only features that will help increase tool uptime and efficiency. “HATCON provides a new level of control. You’ll always know where your tools are, what they do, when they need service or if any tool is operating longer than the other. And with ‘My Epiroc’, everything from scheduling services to identifying faults and find new solutions will be much faster and easier,” says Torsten Ahr, vice president marketing Hydraulic Attachment Tools Epiroc. Additionally, knowing the location of each tool is also an effective anti-theft measure. 

Also new from Epiroc this year is the ‘Pro’ bracket for transverse drum cutters. This fixed bracket improves the protection level of the hoses when working in confined and limited visibility areas without compromising quality and performance. The bracket ensures better hose guidance, which results in less mechanical strain and enhanced protection on sites with reduced visibility (tunnels, underwater etc.). The rugged closed box design prevents any demolished material from falling on to the engine cover. The ‘Pro’ bracket comes with an optional water spraying system for dust control during demolition, tunnel and canal construction. Depending on the application at hand, the customer now has the option to choose between a rotating or static support bracket.



MB machines shine on infrastructure projects in Europe 

Drum cutters from Italy based MB Crusher have been recently used to great success on a few infrastructure projects in Europe. When the historic Augustusbrücke bridge over the Elbe river in Dresden was due for renovation, the contractor sought an attachment that that would not cause any damage to the 18th century structure and would fit the machine already onsite, a Liebherr 918 excavator. To this end, MB Crusher specialists recommended an MB-R800 drum cutter, suitable for 10t to 22t excavators. The first and most challenging phase of the project involved freeing up the expansion joints by applying the drum cutter to the bridge’s diagonal cement lines. Next, the MB-R800 was used to remove some of the concrete that filled the bridge arches, grinding as far as 3m deep. Another German project called for the demolition of an old bridge over the busy Avus motorway in Berlin, with the challenge being to allow the traffic to continue moving on the carriageways across the bridge. Following the first phase executed by heavy duty demolition machinery, the two drum cutters - a MB-R800 and a MB-R900 - were called in to remove the layers of cement and tarmac. 

Another case study, this time in Corsica, involved the construction of a 450m suspended footbridge, 5m above sea level. Located on a narrow cliff between the sea and the land with very little room for manoeuvre, the construction site itself represented the biggest challenge. MB Crusher solved it by advising the customer to use a combination of a Bobcat E85 midi excavator with a MB-R500 drum cutter with a rotation kit. Additionally, in Witzeeze, Germany, a contractor was tasked to remove concrete walls of a bridge and some boulders at the bottom of a river, 1.5m deep, to widen the riverbed. A MB-R700 unit passed the test with flying colours. 



Simex expands production facility and receives innovation award for the TFC 400 drum cutter 

2019 turned out to be a very successful year for Italy based Simex. The manufacturer strengthened its sales network, developed new attachments and, most importantly, added a new 7,500m2 building to its flagship manufacturing facility near Bologna. A warehouse with high storage capacity, it allows the Italian company to improve delivery times and to respond to market requirements in a more efficient manner. 

Simex had scheduled for release at SaMoTer (which has since been rescheduled to later this year) the new TFC 400 and TFC 600 double drum cutters. Designed for 6t to 10t and 9t to 12t excavators respectively, the TFC 400 and TFC 600 are of the continuous rotation type, which ensures smooth and even milling. With a cutting force of 18.5kN, the TFC 400 is ideal for small sized excavation tasks, profiling of concrete surfaces and landscaping. The more powerful TFC 600 (boasting a cutting force of 24.5kN) is designed for heavier duty applications such as milling off deteriorated concrete structures in walls and tunnel roofs, profiling of cut off walls, trenching and laying of aqueduct and sewer pipes. The TFC 400 has already been recognised with the SaMoTer2020 ‘International Innovation Award’ in the attachments category.



Rockwheel focuses on optimal pick layout

Germany based Rokla – one of the pioneers and trendsetters in the drum cutter industry – markets its products under the brand name ‘Rockwheel’, has recently focused on pick layout to achieve rapid, precise and smooth cutting. According to the German manufacturer, an optimal layout of picks on the drums results in less stalling of the cutter head, more continuous cutting and ultimately higher performance. For cutting exceptionally hard materials, a special demolition drum is recommended. It features a helical depth limiter to prevent over cutting and reduce vibrations. Another trademark feature of Rockwheel drum cutters is that they only need two hydraulic connections, with no drain line required. The special valve construction serves to protect the hydraulic motor. The attachments’ compact design reduces stress on the excavator boom and ensures operational stability. 



Kinshofer rebrands its drum cutter range 

Kinshofer Group, a German based heavy hitter in crane and excavator attachments, is currently in the process of rebranding its range of drum cutters. Formerly known as the ‘WS’ series, from now on, every cutter in the nine model range will be prefixed by the name ‘KDC’ with the model number at the end denoting the maximum operating weight of the carrier it fits. Driven by high torque motors, the KDC cutters feature modular construction and robust spur gearing with a gear reduction to increase cutting force. The attachments are also suited for underwater operation of up to 25m deep thanks to the heavy duty sealing system. The hydraulic motor can be adjusted to the excavator’s hydraulic circuit capacity. Quick and easy exchange of wear parts reduces downtime. The optional 360° rotation function allows exact positioning in corners, on walls and other vertical surfaces for more accurate contouring. The optimised arrangement of picks ensures a high loosening performance and low wear. Three drum versions are available: the excavating version for cutting soft to medium hard rock, the profiling version for shaping and levelling soft to medium hard rock, and the demolition version for cutting medium-hard to hard rocks and concrete. Four pick variants allow users to achieve optimum performance on different materials: standard pick is recommended for soft to medium hard rocks such as argillite and asphalt and heavy-duty pick for medium-hard to very hard rocks. The wear protected pick is recommended for very abrasive rocks like sandstone and furnace gravel, and wood pick for stumping and landscaping applications. 



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